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  1. #1
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    Pepperell, MA
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    New Holland T2310

    Default Digging Ditches?

    Did a quick search and didn't come up with much. So, here it goes...

    I'm in the process of ditching around the horse paddocks on our farm right now in my spare time. I'm cutting them about 2 feet deep, and about 3 feet wide (bordering on being a swale, but not quite), which past experience and observation says will be sufficiently "big" for my project... My question to the community is how do I cut reasonably angled sides on a ditch with a BH? I can cut something that looks much more like a trench easily, and have even made a terraced trench, but a true sloped ditch (something like this: \_/ or like this \/ ) eludes me... I can always do some shovel work afterward, but would like to let the machine do as much of it for me as possible...

    Its fun soil to work in, the previous owners (or someone before them) clearly buried "junk" in it in spots, especially trees... Every 10 feet or so I haul up yet another piece of wood about 5 feet long and 6 inches in diameter... Good thing the wife suggested up front (before I could) that we get the hydraulic thumb with the BH). Even hauled out a boulder that was roughly round and 2 feet in diameter at lunchtime today...

    Thanks!

    -Tom

  2. #2
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Digging Ditches?

    Use the backhoe bucket for backsloping.
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  3. #3
    Bronze Member
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    Mar 2009
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    Pepperell, MA
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    New Holland T2310

    Default Re: Digging Ditches?

    Quote Originally Posted by Egon View Post
    Use the backhoe bucket for backsloping.
    Can you explain "Backsloping"? Sorry, I am a bit ignorant on this term...

  4. #4
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    NH
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    (B2620, had BX22) Simplicity Legacy w/48" mmm

    Default Re: Digging Ditches?

    It sounds like you are digging with the tractor in alignment with the axis, or length of the ditch. You will probably have to position the tractor at an angle to the ditch to create the shape you are looking for. You can actually dig some length that way if you can get pretty close to where you are digging. I got used to that with the BX I had since the boom swing is limited, and it worked pretty well.
    B2620,Loaded R-4's , Wallenstein BX42 chipper, Bush Hog SQ148 RC, 4' x 8' chain harrow, Blizzard 54" 3PT snowblower, Tirechains. com v-bar duo grip chains (hate them), Simplicity Legacy with 48"mmm, turbo collector, Country Line carry all, Countryline Middlebuster, Woods 48" BB, Kubota QA for loader, Kubota forks, Kuhn EL23 rototiller, and more to come...

  5. #5
    Super Member Scooby074's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia
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    BX 25, ZD 326

    Default Re: Digging Ditches?

    Hmm... Are you trying for a rounded bottom? or more vertical sides?

    If you want a round bottom you can try rolling the bucket from "open" to "close". Depending on your bucket size it should result in around a 2-3 ft round bottom ditch.

    Using the stick in combination with rolling the bucket will give you a wider round bottom.

    A tip is to keep the pin where the boom and stick meet, centered over the path you want your ditch.

    If you want more vertical sides you could try making a small round bottom then go back and use your bucket to "cut" down the edges..


    Dont know if this will help... good luck.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
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    Jan 2006
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    196
    Location
    Birch Run, MI
    Tractor
    Case 580C

    Default Re: Digging Ditches?

    The angle you want will require a nearly right angle to the ditch, which means a whole lot of practice at setting, digging, and moving the machine, setting again, etc.

    A bigger machine with a longer reach or extendahoe would save a lot of moving and resetting, but you wont get away from it unless you use a mini excavator.
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  7. #7
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    NW Oregon
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    Deere 317 & L118

    Default Re: Digging Ditches?

    Dig a trench and take the loader bucket and angel the sides to catch rain water. Scoop out what you can with the loader and clean it out with the backhoe. From this |_| to this \_/ .
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  8. #8
    Bronze Member
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    Pepperell, MA
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    New Holland T2310

    Default Re: Digging Ditches?

    Thanks to everyone for the good suggestions. I think my strategy now will go something like this... Dig the ditch "on axis" with the backhoe, remove the spoil, then go back perpendicular and "clean it up a bit" when I can temporarially relocate the horse paddock fencing. We are using roundpen (we have a horse who LOVES to chew wood, so steel is good )

    Thanks for all the replies. I love this forum, it is very helpful for sure!

    -Tom

  9. #9
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Digging Ditches?

    From the sounds of things you may be able to dig the trench just using the bucket as you may be using it for sloping the sides. Two ways to do it, either dig the trench and then backslope or dig from the side backsloping as you go or a combination of the two. This only works for shallow trenches.

    [Backsloping] the side angle on the trench. John Deere's pictures shows it.

    Picture of a trench with no backslope being dug with the bucket. Side slopes can be added later.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Digging Ditches?-drainage-trench-3-jpg  
    Egon
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  10. #10
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    BXpanded's Avatar
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    Crouse, NC

    Default Re: Digging Ditches?

    You can get \_/ by tilting the machine with the outriggers as you dig. How much slope do you need on the side?

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